Posts Tagged ‘K-12 education’

Walmart Back-to-School Special

August 10, 2017

Walmart Back-to-School Special

“Walmart has condemned a display inside one of its stores that appeared to market firearms as back-to-school items. The company said Wednesday it was working to identify which of its stores put up the exhibit.

A photo of a sign reading ‘Own the school year like a hero’ was placed directly above a glass case filled with guns. Photos of it spread like wildfire on social media.

— “Walmart apologizes for sign marketing guns as back-to-school items,” Jackie Wattles, CNN

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Betsy DeVos Is Demolishing Public Education

June 8, 2017

Betsy DeVos Is Demolishing Public Education
“Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos’s proposed budget for the US Department of Education is a boon for privatization and a disaster for public schools and low-income college students. They want to cut federal spending on education by 13.6 percent. Some programs would be eliminated completely; others would face deep reductions. They want to cut $10.6 billion from existing programs and divert $1.4 billion to charter schools and to vouchers for private and religious schools. This budget reflects Trump and DeVos’s deep hostility to public education and their desire to shrink the Department of Education, with the ultimate goal of getting rid of it entirely.”

— “The Demolition of American Education,” Diane Ravitch, New York Review of Books

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Hey Kids, Crappy School Lunches Are Back!

May 2, 2017

Hey Kids, Crappy School Lunches Are Back!
On Monday, new Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue got right behind the plow to solve America’s most pressing food problem, the deadly plague of healthy school lunches. The Trump administration has decided that kids should eat the traditional salty slop of their obese, constipated seniors. Chocolate milk is back! Veggies? Gone. Whole grains? Gone. Take that, Michelle Obama!

Official USDA press release: “Ag Secretary Perdue Moves to Make School Meals Great Again.”

More:

“The Trump administration’s tone deaf move on school lunches,” Julia Belluz, Vox

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‘No Child Left Behind’ Left Behind

December 9, 2015

'No Child Left Behind' Left Behind

Congress has finally flunked the “No Child Left Behind” law, which had been “socially promoted” for over a decade, much like its sponsor, George W. Bush. The Senate sent a new K-12 education bill to the Principal’s Office White House, where President Obama is expected to sign it.

The new bill continues massive annual testing and giveaways for the charter school industry, but now allows states to figure out how to fix their own “dropout factory” schools. As if. It also includes a piddling $250 million in early childhood education grant funding through the HHS Head Start Pre-K program, with review by the Department of Education.

More:

“‘No Child Left Behind’ Is No More,” Russell Berman, The Atlantic

“No Child Left Behind: An Obituary,” Cory Turner, NPR

“Senate scraps No Child Left Behind; education battle moves to states,” Maggie Severns, Politico

“ESEA reauthorization continues a long federal retreat from American classrooms,” Arnold F. Shober, Brookings

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School Supplies

June 8, 2014

School Supplies

“One way to curb mass shootings in America’s schools would be for Congress to pass gun control legislation. But since that plan failed miserably, an enterprising father in Oklahoma is offering another solution—equipping children with bulletproof blankets.

The Bodyguard Blanket™ was developed by Steve Walker, a father of two elementary school students who was horrified by the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which left 20 children and six adults dead. In the 14 months following Newtown, there were at least 44 school shootings. ‘We wanted our children to have a layer of protection immediately,’ Walker told Oklahoma NBC affiliate KFOR. ‘They can be stored in the classroom, and, when seconds count, they can be easily applied.'”

— “Gun Control Measures Are Going Nowhere, So Here’s a Bulletproof Blanket for Your Kids,” Dana Liebelson, Mother Jones

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What Did You Learn In School Today?

September 4, 2013

What Did You Learn In School Today?

Back-to-School Special

Diane Ravitch on No Child Left Behind:

“I just came to realize that what we got involved in and what I had been supporting was turning education into a desiccated, data-driven, anti-human activity and this would not encourage the love of learning.  It would kill it.”

— “How I Fell Victim for an Educational Fad,” Diane Ravitch, Big Think

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Christmas Defender Rick Perry Tells Women ‘Bah Humbug!’

June 18, 2013

Christmas Defender Rick Perry Tells Women 'Bah Humbug!'

Texas Governor Rick “Santa” Perry signed the “Merry Christmas Bill” into law last week, allowing public school Christmas parties in the Lone Star State. “It’s a shame that a bill like this one I’m signing today is even required, but I’m proud that we’re standing up for religious freedom in this state,” said Mr. Perry. Does that mean school parties for DiwaliAshura, Festivus, Al Hijra, Niinamesai, MaidyaremLosar, and Samhain? Smile when you say that, partner.

The Republican governor also put coal in the stockings of Texas women when he vetoed a bill allowing them to sue for equal pay for equal work. That might be a big political gift for Texas Democrats next Election Day.

Related:

“The Equal Pay Act – Powerful But Not Enough,” Anne Kim, Washington Monthly blog

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Illegitimate Lunch

August 20, 2012

Illegitimate Lunch

The media are buzzing about remarks by Congressman Todd Akin (R, MO-2) on “Illegitimate Rape,” but few have noticed his comments on “Illegitimate Lunch.” Missouri Republican Akin, a member of the Tea Party Caucus and candidate for the U.S. Senate, recently repeated his belief that the federal government should not subsidize school lunches for poor children. He made these comments after a hearty meal at the 60th annual Governor’s Ham Breakfast at the Missouri State Fair.

Update:

“Todd Akin Claims Federal School Lunch Programs Do Not ‘Fall Within the Framework of Our United States Constitution.’” Ian Millhiser, Nation of Change

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Image (“Caution: School Lunch”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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‘Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education’

October 25, 2010

Teaching and Choice Are Undermining Education

“Teacher evaluation is a red herring, a diversion. A diversion intended to take our glance away from the poverty and racial isolation in which these students live. It salves the conscience of the billionaire boys club and enables them to blame hard-working teachers for the poverty and inequality that mars our society and hurts children.”

— Dr. Diane Ravitch, September 24, 2010

” … the CREDO study … evaluated student progress on math tests in half the nation’s five thousand charter schools and concluded that 17 percent were superior to a matched traditional public school; 37 percent were worse than the public school; and the remaining 46 percent had academic gains no different from that of a similar public school. The proportion of charters that get amazing results is far smaller than 17 percent.

–“The Myth of Charter Schools,” Diane Ravitch, New York Review of Books

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Changing Education Paradigms

October 23, 2010

Here’s part of a talk about education and creativity by Sir Ken Robinson, interpreted for RSA Animate by Cognitive Media.  The entire address may be seen here.

 

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